Daily Archives: August 24, 2012

From “Morning and Evening” by C. H. Spurgeon

“The breaker is come up before them.” – Mic_2:13

Inasmuch as Jesus has gone before us, things remain not as they would have been had he never passed that way. He has conquered every foe that obstructed the way. Cheer up now thou faint-hearted warrior. Not only has Christ travelled the road, but he has slain thine enemies. Dost thou dread sin? He has nailed it to his cross. Dost thou fear death? He has been the death of Death. Art thou afraid of hell? He has barred it against the advent of any of his children; they shall never see the gulf of perdition. Whatever foes may be before the Christian, they are all overcome. There are lions, but their teeth are broken; there are serpents, but their fangs are extracted; there are rivers, but they are bridged or fordable; there are flames, but we wear that matchless garment which renders us invulnerable to fire. The sword that has been forged against us is already blunted; the instruments of war which the enemy is preparing have already lost their point. God has taken away in the person of Christ all the power that anything can have to hurt us. Well then, the army may safely march on, and you may go joyously along your journey, for all your enemies are conquered beforehand. What shall you do but march on to take the prey? They are beaten, they are vanquished; all you have to do is to divide the spoil. You shall, it is true, often engage in combat; but your fight shall be with a vanquished foe. His head is broken; he may attempt to injure you, but his strength shall not be sufficient for his malicious design. Your victory shall be easy, and your treasure shall be beyond all count.

“Proclaim aloud the Saviour’s fame,
Who bears the Breaker’s wond’rous name;
Sweet name; and it becomes him well,
Who breaks down earth, sin, death, and hell.”

 

 

From “Evening Thoughts” by Winslow

“For the Lord will not cast off forever: but though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” Lam_3:31-33

Oh! what emptying, what humbling are necessary in order to make room for the lowly Lamb of God in the heart of a poor believing sinner! And for years after the first reception of Jesus, are this emptying and humbling needed. If it were not so, would our dear Lord discipline as He does? Would He cut off this and that dependence? would He take us off of creature trust, and that sometimes in the most painful way? Oh no! by these means He seeks to establish Himself in our affections-He would have our whole hearts. And when thus unhinged from earthly trust, when emptied of confidence in self, when deprived of earthly comforts-oh how unutterably precious does Jesus become! Then do we see Him to be just the Jesus we want, just the Savior that we need; we find in Him all that we ever found in the creature, and infinitely more-wisdom, strength tenderness, and sympathy, surpassing all that men or angels ever felt, or could possibly feel for us. Then it is His blood and righteousness are endeared; then we fly to His fullness of all grace; and then the tender, bleeding branch takes a firmer hold on its stem, and henceforth looks only to it for all its vigor, its nourishment, and its fruit.

“As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can you, except you abide in me.” Ah! beloved reader, if you are His child, He will cause you to know it, and will endear Himself to you as such. And this is seldom done, save in the way of severe discipline. Shrink not from it, then. All the good that the Lord ever takes from you, He returns ten thousand-fold more in giving Himself. If you can say, “the Lord is my portion,” then what more do you, can you, want? And remember, too, the Lord will deprive you of nothing that was for your real good. He is the judge of what is best for you-not yourself. We are but imperfect judges of what tends best to our spiritual or temporal benefit. That which we may deem absolutely essential to both, the Lord in His wisdom and love may see proper to remove; and as frequently, that the removal of which we had often besought the Lord, He may see fit to retain. Thrice Paul prayed for the removal of his infirmity, and thrice the Lord denied his request: but the denial was accompanied by a promise, calculated to soothe into sweet acquiescence every feeling of the apostle-“My grace,” said the Lord, “is sufficient for you.” Let it ever be remembered by the tried believer, that supporting grace, in the season of trial, is a greater mercy than the removal of the trial itself. The Lord Jesus did seem to say to His servant, “I see not that it would be for your good to grant your prayer, but I will enable you to bear the infirmity without a murmur: I will so support you, so manifest my strength in your weakness, my all-sufficiency in your nothingness, that you shall not desire its removal.” “Lord,” he might have replied, “this is all that I desire. If You in Your wisdom and love do see fit still to afflict me, I am in Your hands to do with me as seems good in Your sight. The continuance of the trial will but prove the strength of Your grace, and the tenderness and sympathy of Your heart.” After this, we hear no more of Paul’s thorn in the flesh: the grace of the Lord, doubtless, proved all-sufficient for him.

 

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” John 17:19

Christ is glorified in the progressive holiness of His people. “The kingdom of God is within you,” says our Lord. The increase of this kingdom is just the measure and extent of the believer’s advance in sanctification. This is that internal righteousness, the work of God the Holy Spirit, which consists in the subjugation of the mind, the will, the affections, the desires, yes, the whole soul; to the government and supremacy of Jesus; “bringing into captivity,” says the apostle, “every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

O you who are “striving against sin.” Longing to be “conformed to the image of God’s Son,” panting to be more “pure in heart,” “hungering and thirsting for righteousness,” think that in every step which you take in the path of holiness; in every corruption subdued; in every besetting sin laid aside; in every holy desire begotten; Christ is glorified in you! But you perhaps reply, “The more I strive for the mastery, the more I seem to be conquered. The stronger I oppose my sins, the stronger my sins seem to be.”

But what does this prove? It proves that “God is working in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure”; that the kingdom of God is invading the kingdom of Satan; that the Spirit dwelling in the heart is warring with the flesh. It is truly remarked by Owen, that “if a believer lets his sins alone, his sins will let him alone.” But let him search them as with candles, let him bring them to the light, oppose, mortify, and crucify them; they will to the last struggle for the victory. And this inward warfare undeniably marks the inhabitation of God the Holy Spirit in the soul.

To see one advancing in holiness; thirsting for God; the heart fixed in its solemn purpose of entire surrender; cultivating higher views; and aiming for a loftier standard; to behold him, perhaps, carving his way to his throne through mighty opposition, “fightings without; fears within;” striving for the mastery of some besetting sin; sometimes foiling and sometimes foiled; sometimes with the shout of victory on the lip, and sometimes with the painful consciousness of defeat bowing down the heart; yet still onward; the needle of the soul, with slow and tremulous, but true and certain movement, still pointing to its glorious attraction- God; faith that can never fail; and hope that can never die; and love that can never be quenched; hanging amid their warfare and in all their weakness upon the “nail fastened in a sure place”; how is Christ, our sanctification, glorified in such a saint!

Oh, to be like Jesus! meek and lowly, gentle, kind, and forgiving, without duplicity, without deceit, without malice, without revenge, without one temper, or thought, or feeling, or look, that is unlike Him!

Beloved, mistake not the nature and the evidence of growth in sanctification. In all your self-denial in this great work, be cautious of grace-denial. You will need much holy wisdom here, lest you overlook the work of the Spirit within you. You have thought, it may be, of the glory that Christ receives from brilliant genius and profound talent, from splendid gifts and glowing zeal, from costly sacrifices, and even extensive usefulness. But have you ever thought of the glory, the far greater, richer glory, that flows to Him from a contrite spirit, a broken heart, a lowly mind, a humble walk; from the tear of godly repentance that falls when seen by no human eye, and the sigh of godly sorrow that is breathed when heard by no human ear; from the sin-abhorrence and self-loathing, the deep sense of vileness, poverty, and infirmity that takes you to Jesus with the prayer- “Lord, here I am; I have brought to You my rebellious will, my wandering heart, my worldly affections, my peculiar infirmity, my besetting and constantly overpowering sin. Receive me graciously; put forth the mighty power of Your grace in my soul, subdue all, rule all, and subjugate all to Yourself. Will it not be for Your glory, the glory of Your great name, if this strong corruption were subdued by Your grace, if this powerful sin were nailed to Your cross, if this temper so sensitive, this heart so impure, these affections so truant, this mind so dark, these desires so earthly, these pursuits so carnal, and these aims so selfish, were all entirely renewed by Your Spirit, sanctified by Your grace, and made each to reflect Your image? Yes, Lord, it would be for Your glory, through time and through eternity.”

 

 

From “Faith’s Checkbook” by C. H. Spurgeon

“God Above Human Philosophy ” – 1Co_1:19

This verse is a threatening so far as the worldly wise are concerned, but to the simple believer it is a promise. The professedly learned are forever trying to bring to nothing the faith of the humble believer, but they fail in their attempts. Their arguments break down, their theories fall under their own weight, their deep-laid plots discover themselves before their purpose is accomplished. The old gospel is not extinct yet, nor will it be while the LORD liveth. If it could have been exterminated, it would have perished from off the earth long ago.

We cannot destroy the wisdom of the wise, nor need we attempt it, for the work is in far better hands. The LORD Himself says, “I will,” and He never resolves in vain. Twice does He in this verse declare His purpose, and we may rest assured that He will not turn aside from it.

What clean work the LORD makes of philosophy and “modern thought” when He puts His hand to it! He brings the fine appearance down to nothing; He utterly destroys the wood, hay, and stubble. It is written that so it shall be, and so shall it be. LORD, make short work of it. Amen, and amen.